By Isabella Sayers
The Northampton County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing Tuesday evening to discuss their proposal for a new use “short term rental.” Before the hearing was open for the public to speak, Board chairman, Spencer Murray, shed light on the rapid increase of Air BnB-type establishments throughout the county. Other Board members chimed in, stating that through the transient occupancy tax, short term rentals are a prominent source of revenue for Northampton County.
The Board proposed a zoning text amendment with two options for the planning commision to review that sets forth certain requirements that short term rental operations must meet, and specifies zoning criteria. The first option allows short term rental throughout the county by-right, with certain minimal performance standards. The second option allows the rentals to be dealt with as a Bnb, alongside other restrictions. It also allows short term rental by-right, in certain areas, but not all.
Following the explanation of the Board members proposals, they then allowed the public to speak on the issue. Debbie Campbell, of Exmore, shared her concern on those who may be flying under the radar in regards to the legality aspects of a short term rental. Campbell urged the board to err on the side of caution, and find a way to seek out those who rent out their homes without proper licensing and payment of taxes.
This matter was tabled by the planning commission, therefore the Board was unable to vote on the issue.